Tesla is still the EV market benchmark, according to former Ford CEO Mark Fields. He told CNBC on Thursday that some of the smaller players in the field risk failing or being bought by rivals. It’s only going to get tougher, especially at the high end price range where competition is stiff, Fields said. LoadingSomething is loading.Thanks for signing up!Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go. download the appTesla is still the benchmark for the electric vehicle market and smaller players are at risk of failing or being swallowed up by larger peers, according to former Ford chief executive Mark Fields. He told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday that some of the smaller companies like Lucid run the risk of being taken over by bigger companies among the growing pack of EV makers. “I think every automaker still benchmarks Tesla as the leader at this point,” Fields said. He noted revenue misses for both Lucid and Nikola Corp. as worrying signs. Those companies have also been plagued by persistent supply chain bottlenecks that have slowed production. And “it’s only going to get tougher” for companies Lucid and others that are pricing vehicles in a high-end price range, where competition from big incumbent rivals like Mercedes and BMW is stiff. “One thing is for sure – these companies are going to continue to need capital to grow their businesses,” Fields said. “Some will succeed, and some will have to be bought by some of the larger players.”Meanwhile, Fields highlighted Tesla’s ability to control vertical integration when producing its vehicles, which has allowed the company to be “the master of their own destiny of the costs.” “When you combine that with their brand, which is held in high regard [because] they were a first mover, they continue to get a premium,” Fields said.